2012 Frank Gore Option Rushing
I wondered whether incorporating option tactics into an offense more fully could increase the percentage of yards gained before contact. That would certainly help offenses. Might it also help running backs stay fresher? There's not nearly enough evidence to say for sure. On the surface, though, getting hit by members of the secondary after building momentum sure beats the alternative from a wear-and-tear standpoint.
As the chart shows, Gore has more yardage on option runs in two playoff games than he gained during the 16-game regular season. His per-carry average has spiked on these runs, as has the percentage of yardage gained before contact.
Relevant defenders outnumber relevant offensive players on the typical rushing play. That is because the quarterback isn't a threat on these runs. The option rushing game evens up the numbers by forcing defenders to account for quarterbacks as legitimate runners. Running backs can face more favorable matchups as a result.